Man I Miss the Mobile Web Server

Something else that came out of last night’s conversation was the re-realization that I (still) really miss the mobile web server (MWS) and wish that it would have caught on with more (louder, more notable, bigger funded, etc.) people.

Yes, there’s no money for companies who aren’t innovative to let people own their own content and be their own publishing points by brokering the connectivity; and maybe that’s part of my issues as well.

The content management aspect of things that the Nokia Mobile Web Server had was also neat. Responding to SMS messages, adding appointments from a webpage right into my mobile with a copy/paste, and even the blog/image gallery was just simple and on point. If I could have figured out Python, and how to develop on my mobile, maybe some really neat things could have happened that would have kept it going.

Off to dream on something else. Can’t stay in the past too long… but I will learn from it and adjust accordingly.

Work-Life and Computing

I’ve had the hunkering to write all day today. I know that I’ve had a ton of subjects in mind, but nothing is really clear at this point.

I’m writing this in notepad on a laptop that’s 5 or 6 years old at this point. It was old when I received it, and after a few years with it, and a number of behavioral and perception changes on my end, I’ve been able to solidly use this as a work laptop. Suffice to say, its old, and so are the reasons that I need to keep using it.

I’ve got a smartphone (ok, a few smartphones), I’ve got a tablet computer (no, not at iPad but a Nokia N800). Shouldn’t work-life computing be a lot different? With these tools, why is it that I have to be (a) siloed in physical locations, (b) siloed in applications, and (c) using hardware and services not optimized for the workflows that I’m employed to efficiently manage and demonstrate to others?

Yes, from a technological end, work-life sucks. There’s no reason that I should be limited in use or behavior. But, I’m peculiar. For example, my N97 smartphone does things such as automatically set an alarm to wake me in the morning, automatically connects to the enterprise server between 8am and 6pm to collect email (aka, no email after hours, ever), and a few other things that I have it do without my intervention. This is how technology should be serving to make me more productive. But that’s just not the case all around.

I still have to ping folks that documents are updated on SharePoint – despite users being able to set their own alerts. Emails are sent with attachments and asked to be collaborated over, versus either placing documents in a shared workspace or using more malleable tools such as SharePoint Lists and web pages. And tons of other things. I’m not (necessarily) going to bash what I’d prefer over what I and others do. The point is that the tools are more than able to make things smoother, we just don’t move towards that.

And that’s why I wonder about the supposed “iPad effect.” Yea, there will be a few folks who will be able to champion the use of this nicely designed touchscreen computer to people who really do nothing more content consuming and light editing (aka, getting rid of laptop workstations is a good thing for these folks). There’s also going to be the opportunity to look at how to better develop mobile/web applications to sell as a service for those companies who are really virtual in their office productivity, and only use client applications because they think that’s the only way to do office life. That can and should change (ok, so there is an iPad stimuli to thing, but for me it happened much earlier).

What won’t, at least not quickly enough for me, is the inclination and behaviors around how/why we do a lot of this stuff. Shouldn’t checking into the workplace be totally virtual by the use of signing onto a corporate server (ex. you are required to be logged in between 8am and 430pm, M-F on MS Office Communicator regardless of the computing device you use to log in). Shouldn’t companies be graded on their abilities to use software and services to promote these kinds of changes – like a green environmental rating, except for behavior and tech changes. There’s a lot that we do which is wasteful – from types of email communication to using web forms instead of documents to not using code/image snippets from a shared server – which would be nice to see challenged and changed.

And those changes need to reflect relevance and value back to those companies. If that value isn’t easily seen (better work-life balance, increased ability to use working hours for productive events, etc.), then it won’t change. In fact, legislation and circumstance will cause things to get worse.

Given my vantage point on people, processes, and technology, I see these things. And I’m on a laptop, within Notepad, typing the reasons why I know we need to change (there goes Matthew 7:1-4 again).

The Body and (C)hurch

I’ve had the hunkering to write all day today. I know that I’ve had a ton of subjects in mind, but nothing is really clear at this point.

The Body and (C)hurch

For example, I wanted to write/postulate some on the back end of a conversation that I had with K. Purcell (and family). We talked some about the idea of (C)hurch. It was interesting that he had similar feelings to my own – being that he’s a pastor of a traditional congregation/denomination. As we concluded the night, it started to feel even more clear to me that I’m asking the right questions – even if there aren’t many answers yet.

Upon that subject (sorry, I’m talking about it again when I did say that I didn’t want to): I agree with many that there’s something about the institutional (c)hurch that needs to be let go. I can’t put my hand on all of the characteristics, but there are mounds to choose from: the veneration of Sunday, the approaches to engaging culture and politics, the understanding and dissemination of technology (computer or otherwise), the psychology/ministry of youth, teens, young adults, singles, and single parents, and so much more.

And yet, I’m not a member of a (c)hurch right now. Its not just a deliberate decision, but its one where I’m taking the effort to ask questions and really see where the Body is threading amongst itself. For example, one of the reasons for not being a member of a (c)hurch is because I’ve got a qualification that I’ve not heard any so far meet – what do you do to connect and build the Body with the other (c)hurches in the region? What is your effect to the neighborhood to which your physical church building resides? Its sad that so many don’t or can’t answer that question. And those that say that they don’t fellowship or connect with others in their local vicinity, I ask them simply, “so are you really the (C)hurch or a (c)hurch on your own?”

Yes, I know that pastors and organizations have “visions” that endear them to start out the way that they do. I just wonder whether we are doing things in the context of the Body being built-up (I know the answer some would have for that). For judgment’s sake (Matthew 7:1-4 in context), Mobile Ministry Magazine is designed as a (free) resource asking and building the discussion on how to grow in the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the use, application, and implications of mobile technology within the entirety of the Christian faith. That means that at the beginning and end of the day, the value of the content and connections has to always point back at the Body being built up so that the Head (Christ) can be glorified. Now, that’s this person’s intention. In my asking of the areas where I live and travel, I ask for the same kind of value proposition.

That being said, I don’t want to go off on my own. I don’t really care to (really, I could use more heads, hands, and hearts w/MMM for example). There’s a lot of growth and fun to be had when folks work together. And even more to be gained within individual identities when we do.

I’d also not want to be a part of losing the history that got us to this point. 100 years from now, we are going to be judged against the entire history of the Christian cannon (the books and practices we teach and left behind). Is our witness going to be enough to bolster those generations of believers? Or, are we going to be looked at as the model of what not to do/believe?

I wonder what we’re losing now in not asking these questions around the various movements that are happening – and if we really understand the wave that’s actually happening with our faith versus just seeing what’s happening inside a glass on the table of it (faith)?

And even more than wondering what we are losing, I wonder if people are knowledgeable enough about their own Body to care?